Amytric Pulse – Operation Euridike – To be released in late october, early november

Hey gang!
If you read this thread, chances are you’ve already seen me presenting this game on Discord. Now, since this is a project, just like I used to work on back in the day, it only felt right to also have an appropriate work in progress thread. Just like old times!

Speaking of old times, that is also exactly what you can expect from this game. I understand that through the years I have earned a bit of a reputation of doing new things in FPSC, new techniques, models, shaders… none of that is here. This is just a somewhat simple FPSC shooter and I guarantee that nothing about it reinvents the wheel. However I’m pretty confident that it’ll be good fun.
You can expect the same type of game I used to release around 2010. I’ve specifically designed it to work within the limits of the memory cap while still featuring a lot of action, that is why some scenes seem a bit barren or low-poly.

Amytric Pulse – Operation Euridike is a straight forward action fps with some subdued adventure elements. I aim for a release around late october or early november. The game is nearly in alpha and the release date entirely depends on how long it’ll take me to record all the voice acting and polish the levels. AND of course… this IS FPSC, so a lot depends on wether it works or not. I have a whole catalogue of FPSC titles that I could not fit into its laughable memory cap back in the day but thanks to Nomad and S4reals stellar work with the Black Ice Mod there is just enough wiggle room now to make slightly more elaborate games in FPSC. So if you too want to give it another spin, now is the time.

Given FPSC’s nature and track record its still just as possible that this will simply not work in the end! I can still chop the game up into chapters if the loading bug persists but I am confident that with BMI’s improvments, this might just work! If so, I’ll likely persue a more complex FPSC project in the future but for now, its just a shooter


Personal Log of Agent Anna Sorensdottir:

Operation Scythe, a coordinated international offensive against the transgenic Collective was a dire failure and cost us most of our men and resources. While we managed to weaken the mutant forces significantly, they have struck us with such a fatal blow that it might have just been the final nail in the coffin for humanity as we know it.

Task Force Zero has already been reduced to a single active unit and in the wake of this grand assault, our men have been taken captive by the Collective.
Now reduced to a skeleton crew we concocted a plan to rescue our agents. Its really nothing more than a last ditch effort…, to send in the last remaining member of the Task Force, with hopes that he single handedly exfiltrates a dozen captives from a formidable high security military installation.

However, to Agent Grimms immense credit he has accepted the mission without any hesitation. He appears confident that there is a chance for us to make a dent into their defenses and his demeanor had a calming effect on me during our preparations. If he can remain so restrained even though his fiancée is among those captured, why should I be such a nervous wreck? After all
he is the one actually sent in there while I’ll only observe through his infolink.

We’ll drop Grimm over the Qasqir Tower military installation, once a brutalist monument to the military strength of the Pan-Asian Coalition, now a center of operations for the Collective.
High altitude, low opening in the dead of night. There is a distinct chance he will not be noticed as the mutants likely don’t expect a break in from the top. It is up to him to interface me with the buildings intranet so I can lock out the reinforcements from the lower levels of the tower. After that all he has is about an hour, maybe hour and a half before they circumnavigate my efforts and he’ll be so outgunned that even a man of his caliber and particular skill set will be outmatched. If our agents are still alive, he is to find them. Our thermalecholocation scan of the building revealed them to be held near the helipads, that is our only chance. If he manages to get to them in time we can send in a stealth helicopter to retrieve them. A lot of “ifs” and “buts” and no certainty.

I understand that I am likely the most efficient hacker still operating for the collective but I’d dread to be the one on com-line while they send Morgan Grimm to his death.


* Its a new FPSC game that isn’t a dull walking simulator with the spoopy closet monster! Yay!
* 9 Levels, some of them might even be good!
* Custom sound design and voice acting
* That homely old janky amateur production quality
* The game is kinda blue, its stylistically designed to be this way but I might have gone too far in a few places.


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Acythian – More prototyping and a lot to learn


Its time for a little update on my project Acythian. Now a lot of my regular readers have likely seen all of this already but so far I have not uploaded it “officially”.

These are more screenshots and impressions from a work in progress map for my game project Acythian.

So far I’ve learned a lot with unity. I mastered basic C# coding and am pretty familiar with the engine and its querks. I’m very fond of the dynamic lighting system and can now confidently use the particle system. In these screenshots all objects have proper physics and react accordingly to force. Including impact sounds when something is dropped or shot at. Bulletholes, which are part of the UFPS controller, have also been implemented where appropriate.

It took a while to get used to, compared to the simpler systems I was working in before but I am now also relatively competent with Unity’s sound system. Detailed ambient soundscapes have always been something I tried to implement into my games.

Here a little something I wanted to show you:

As you can see, you can now properly shoot up a desk, bullet holes appear, objects fall over. its not quite as visceral as in FEAR but its certainly more dynamic than previous titles of mine. Still long ways to go.

There will be quite some change in pace and content on here, so stay tuned for that.

Thank you for reading!

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On learning Unity…

Hey, hey people! 

I hope this summer finds you well and welcome to this article, where I will tell you a few things about my experience with learning Unity and why you too might want to leave maker software behind if you want to evolve as a game designer.

I will also briefly summarize why I have been kind of tied to “game creator” software in the past and what has kept me from making this step far earlier.

Why did you use Game Guru before?

Well, the answer to this is simple, I was using FPSC before then and was enjoying the software, the community and the games I have made with it quite a bit. Despite the inherent shortcomings that eventually killed it off, FPSC had a lot going for it and was pretty revolutionary when it was first released in 2005. Sadly, TGC never saw the true potential this type of software holds and, with how they handled the successor Game Guru where more interesting in running it in the ground. This might sound ignorant and harsh to GG community members but its really not if you look at how the software was handled until now. Remember when they tried to morph the software we backed into a sandbox game for kids? I remember.

Game Guru, was originally introduced as FPSCreator reloaded.

Now, FPSCreator reloaded was supposed to be a recode of FPSCreator. With more features, modernized and above all as actually working software. If you are not aware: FPSCreator had a few dire shortcomings such as the memory cap and a general instability of projects. This is the main reason why I have such a long list of discontinued game projects. As media grew to have more polygons and as shaders where introduced, it became increasingly less practical to work in FPSC. Even games that where specifically designed to work within the parameters of the memory cap would cause issues. This is why there are zero decent FPSC projects that are longer than 3 or 4 shoebox sized levels. And those that exist seldomly allow the player to finish a session without a few restarts and crashes. FPSCR should have provided a robust FPS template to allow single devs to make their own first person perspective games without having to dabble into too much coding. At its core a great idea, in execution lackluster.

Sadly, FPSC was rebranded Game Guru and due to tons of mismanagment and simply bad design choices its not a successor to FPSC nor a particularly good game creator. To this date it lacks dynamic shadows, it has abysmal performance and barely integrated features.

I have been very loyal to TGC throughout the years and greatly enjoyed the community but with GG simply not delivering on what it promised and with so little strides of progress in the 5 years or so I have been supporting it I … well… I simply grew tired of working for months on ideas of mine only to shelve them. No matter how many custom media I design, no matter how many workarounds I come up with to make my game seem to be more than it is and to make it seem like it runs on an engine more competent than it really is. The end result would simply always be lacking, always be awkward and the player would always notice the bad performance and awkward rendering long before he might notice all the work I have put in. So it was time for me to leave.

Initially I was trying to use the Source engine, as I could use all the prefabs from monolithic titans such as HL² for my game. This means basic gameplay scripts, working AI out of the box and a decent FPS controller. Sadly, source is ancient by now and you can tell that importing my media would have taken me ages of painstaking work. And I had enough of that converting my stuff for Game Guru. There is a reason why the majority of source games use valve’s assets and maybe one or 2 custom props.

Unreal Engine 4 would overheat my laptop and cry engine was simply not approachable for me. So!

Inspired by the visual fidelity of “Escape from Tarkov” and by IcePickLodges Pathologic remake I jumped into Unity. There where other reasons that made me choose the engine.

First of all, its free! Second I have seen well known artists such as rolfy, whom’s work I’ve always used and enjoyed make great, studio like things in it. Third it did not overheat my laptop (altough, after years! I finally had the fund to upgrade to a decent rig).Fourth: Importing and setting up my media was a breeze and the engine is very versatile when it comes to meshes, collision, physics and materials.

First Unity Prototype. This did not run perfectly as I was unaware of basic optimisation but I was amazed that I had this working within a couple of days.


2nd Unity Prototype. Getting there!

Misconceptions about using a “real” engine.

Chances are that if you are currently using some creator (FPSC; GG; RPGM) that you believe that you could not achieve the same quality in a proper engine. This used to be true as not so long ago, using a big name engine like the unreal engine was very technical.

However, with the industry basically being free and accessible for hobbyists now and so many templates and media on the market, this is simply no longer true.

Is it harder to make a game in Unity than it is in Game Guru? No. The learning curve is a little steeper at first but you will be able to make an actual game. Using GG is only easy if you “drag and drop” a few mismatching props in a map (you would be surprised how many people honestly believe something like that is worth selling on steam, oh my!) but once you start to do custom work you will find it incredibly hard to impossible to have it all run in a working, compiled game! (If you have eyes in your skull you will likely not be willing to settle for an engine that supports PBR shading but no proper lighting anyway.)

So no, its not really that much harder to work in Unity.

Here is a list of everything I previously assumed:

* I will need to code to get anything done.

Not true, you will need to be able to read scripts and modify existing ones. The community is generous and offers many free scripts for you to get basic gameplay going and there are brilliant templates that basically set you up with everything you need to jump start development.

I was sure that if I use unity, I will need weeks to have an FPS controller running, but I didn’t as there was a brilliant one free to download by armed unity. LINK

This will add movment, climbing, swimming,explosions, weapons, vehicle controls and menues right off the bat.

* Making a game in an engine is extremely technical and takes a long time.

It is faster than using FPSC or GG simply because all tools actually work once you have mastered them. You will likely need longer to finish a project simply because now you can do a hundred times more things. I am positive I could make a full FPS game like Redacted² about as fast in Unity as I did in GG. (see archive)

* Importing media is difficult.

Its extremely easy and fast!

* Levels might be easy to do but gameplay is difficult.

Well, lets be honest here… Most game guru games, especially really terrible ones sold on steam, have 2 gameplay mechanics: 1. Shoot the barely reacting AI and 2. Hunt the key. (search for the key is the worst gameplay mechanic, double so if you have to backtrack the entire level. If your “hyper immersive, survival horror, story driven zombie game consists of “search the key for the door” you might want to consider getting real. Nobody enjoys this.) Sprinkled in are a few audio clips and on-screen messages and its done.

You can basically do this out of the box in any other engine in the same amount of time. Basic gameplay like doors, pickups, keys and lifts are really easy to realize in any engine. You dont have to stagnate using a lackluster product just because it gives you the illusion of being easy to use!

Naturally, things like inventory scripts and more complex gameplay such as dialogue or chains of events are hard to do. This is true. But since it all is such a fun learning by doing experience, I can only recommend: Try it anyway. Go ahead and download the engine that resonates the most with you and give it a solid try. At least for about a week. If it really is not your cup of tea, you can always just go back to your favorite creator software. Good stuff can come from those too.

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My free Game Guru / FPSC media.


Given that we’ve gotten a whole lot of new members lately and that some of my freebies for GG date back to 2014 I figured it might be a useful gift to some that I make a list of all my free stuff for Guru so far. You might have to register on the forums linked to download some of these!


The Dojo! A semi-modular set of buildings to create asian dojos.

A set of fuseboxes. This even includes variations and rusty/worn versions.

Modern industrial cylinders. I’m quite fond of these in my maps.

A fully fletched bar set! Includes shelves, bottles, counters etc.

The older version of the bar set. All sourcing from the same texture and very optimized.

Scifi Type Monitor Tables

Interplanetary Antenna. A scifi decorative scenery model.

Another high quality fuse box set!

A simple medieval sword.

Fantasy Pack II – Underworld. A full set of fantasy props and decorations.

Simple outdoor shrine/altar prop

Simplified gothic archs

Old scifi buildings. Not good but decent for place holders.

A full set of desert fantasy buildings. 


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Acythian – 2019 City and Characters


If you followed this project since its inception you might have noticed that it went through several iterations of character designs.
Initially I was working with Errant AI’s character collection. However, despite being very versatile they are barely usable as civilians and entirely geared towards military type games. Modifying them to look the part for anything else would look extraordinarily cheesy. I’ll still use them as armed enemies as their animation pool is just perfect and there are enough masked variants to hide the difference in style with all the other characters.

Secondly I just used retextured versions of the stock Game Guru characters. These came with pretty neat scifi versions and with a few edits to the fantasy pack types I had neat cyberpunk characters. However, I did not want the characters in my game to be instantly recognizable as GG chars. I also found a lot of the civilian and military types to be very generic in style. I understand that this was made on purpose as GG should allow the user to have the ability to make a videogame in any genre he likes but it was rubbing me the wrong way. The androgynous looking female character variants did not strike my fancy either.

Apart from some testing with high poly variants that where all not for my skill level I finally came to a decision.

I own a lot of chars from arteria 3d. Especially the FPSC versions (generally perceived as low quality as it seems they have been made FPSC ready by brute force, quality be damned) have a pretty low polygon count. The retail versions from their store have LOD versions and look genuinely decent. They have an impressive animation pool and can reach quite decent quality. And with owning so many of them I can easily have enough variation going on in my levels without being too taxing on the engine.

Now, there is one extra point to using these. I enjoy salvaging and retexturing old media to my liking. These chars are perfect as they have barely seen any use in FPSC projects. Feel free to guess what pack they are from if you own them

And here are those I have ready so far:

She was pretty much ready to go out of the box and is one of the higher quality characters in acythians collection so far. Same level of detail as Shavra characters later in production.

Talking with Pirate Myke he suggested that I make a smoother version for an up close LOD level of this one. But alas, I came to the conclusion that I sacrifice a lot of quality on other chars and that no matter what I do, I don’t have the necessary skills to significantly improve this one. SO this is what he looks like

A military type char I converted to look more like a street crook.

He looks more like a leather gimp than a char to be taken all too serious but I think he turned out neat, despite having some of the worst UV mapping I ever made. Ha!

The outfit turned out alright. I deal with the unfortunate face texture stretching later


Even if I use Lowpoly characters. There are a lot of performance and stability related factors I have to keep in mind.
Naturally, no chars are active once a level starts. This goes without saying. But I have looked for more solutions to keeping those FPS high even with a lot of characters active. Here goes:

*Spawning (of course).
*LOD levels. Specifically a LOD stage that has no mesh (if this does not load properly I just make it a single polygon. I have to test this)
The idea is to completely remove the character mesh once the player is far away enough that he would not see the character anyway. This can be set very close for indoor levels but I need to avoid model popping.
* NPCs just standing or sitting around can be entities rather than characters that loop a single animation track. This alone should have a positive impact on overall framerate.
* Lower texture resolution.

A few more impressions from the city level.

Now that the character issue is solved, I need to figure what kind of vehicles are being used in this games universe. Cars are more or less obsolete in general but I also don’t want to just copy something as iconic as blade runners flying vehicles. In the background of this screenshots you can see someone dealing in “vintage vehicle and machine parts”.

Yeah, the lack of real time shadows is very rough but I hope the urban decay translates well anyway in these tunnels.

I am also working on a better fire effect to replace these stock decals.

I’ve been experimenting with characters and have a bit to say about that but first I’d like to show you the progress I have made on that city map.
For all the artifacty GG rendering and the faults it has, its really starting to feel like an urban are playing through it. I’m a bit proud for how the player can traverse it and all the alcoves, nooks and crannies it has.

So far I have not done anything major to the colour tinting and overall feel of the level but just detailed it more. Also note that some shots have differences in brightness, as that too is something I’ll settle once and for all later on.

Take a look:

Comments are welcome as always and thank you for viewing!

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News about Acythian and the discontinuation of Shavra


I have yet again updated page 1 to better represent the project at its current stage. The last time I did that was in February of 2017. Its true that this project has evolved along side the engine which is also why there has never even been a beta demo release (there have been 2 test releases which are the Redacted games. If you read this and never saw those, you can grab both here.)

You can clearly see, even if you only casually flip through the pages of this thread, that the game took a long time to find its tone and even genre. At this point I have written a lengthy design document and have everything pretty much thought out allowing me to work on small, episodic games and other pieces of artwork set in my own little fictional universe. This is nothing unfamiliar to any creative person and my other game projects went through a similar process but I really made that commitment to myself to stick to this project and its lore. I understand that so far, this might look like a generic shooter to any casual browser and its way less popular outside of the GG community than Shavra or other projects where. (relatively) However, people who saw my GDD liked it so far and I believe the world it builds has a lot of unique characteristics, including the characters it represents. It dawned on me that a lot of ideas in it are better suited, or at least better achievable for a person with a limited skillset such as myself in a novel.
Its a little life goal of mine to have one or 2 novels published. Nothing popular, just something that sits on the shelve in the SF section one day. As for the game, I still want to craft a few, no doubt obviously amateurish, yet hopefully entertaining, episodic titles with rather simple story lines and gameplay, yet set in a more complex and hopefully captivating world.

Originally, all I had in mind with this project was a dumb little shooter, using GG’s early extremely limited and broken features. The name of the project, not necessarily catchy or aesthetic was a result of me simply throwing letters together until something clicked. I did however add a little description of what it means and how to pronounce it to page 1. Then it evolved into a corridor based horror shooter, then a third person action game (when that was supposed to be implemented) and eventually it settled on first person action adventure.

Where am I going with this?

Good question. The reason for this rambling post so few of you will read is that I wanted to send out a little life-bleep as I have posted so little about the game lately and have been somewhat absent from the game guru community as a whole and that I decided to kill off all my more lofty and ambitious game ideas.
I was learning the ropes of other engines lately, “engine shopping” as some call it and decided that all that was simply no longer for me. I am not too old but just not at a stage of my life to be able to invest that kind of energy, to learn a complex tool for what is, lets be honest here, essentially a hobby activity. It all just feels like such a chore and is really not worth it for me. Most would require me to either form or join a team and I greatly prefer the helpful nature of this community over an all out collaboration.

Personally, the last real stride to go all out on a project, put in regular work hours and set milestones for myself was Skrye.

While it was hard for me to kill of “Shavra” as I tried to make it work in one iteration or another (Previous titles where Spyra and Relict) it was the right choice. I’m now experienced enought to just know what I can’t do and that game was something I was uttely incapable of ever pulling of. Acythian on the other hand allows me to make cool little things. Small fun games.

Some people on here are far more disciplined and diligent than I am. The truth is that while I enjoy my creative hobbies sometimes I don’t get around actually working on them for weeks in a row and therefore my projects can stagnate. I truely appreciate those of you who maintain an interest and keep checking back therefore all the more.

And thats really what I wanted to reduce my 3D hobby to given the little time I have for it : Fun. You’ll find that a lot of the things I do on here might seem less ambitious but therefore I hope they will somewhat soon be actually playable.

Thank you for reading even though it certainly took me a while to get to the point.

I’d also like to share some early screenshots from a city area. I’ve shown these around a bit before and mostly gotten good responses, albeit that there are a few things that need changing or adjusting. However, now that I have the general architecture of the level “carved out” I can start detailing it, which is the more enjoyable part.

Synchromesh had the really interesting idea that I might create some light aerial traffic with an animated skybox.

You’ll also see that its using dynamic lighting now…I’m still holding out for someone like Lee or Preben to implement something decent in the future. Here’s to optimism

If you are on the discord, you may have seen these before.

Light and visibility will likely change in this area in the future.

A screenshot from higher up. Several of these buildings have already been replaced and the whole scene is a lot less blue now.

The small market will have a few NPC’s later on.


C&C is always welcome. Up next will also be a few soundbytes from the soundtrack for those interested. I’ll upload those as a YT video.


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Basic melee weapon rigging in fragmotion [English / Deutsch]


First of all this is going to be the last tutorial I make for fragmotion. I get a lot of messages about it and tried to explain how to use it to so many people that I simply don’t feel like it anymore. Someone I really respect asked me to so I abliged.


Also vorab mal, das hier ist das letzte Tutorial zu Fragmotion das ich veröffentliche. Ich werd eigentlich dauernd danach gefragt und habs schon so vielen Leuten versucht beizubringen dass ich nun echt keinen Bock mehr habe. Nun, ein anderer 3d Modelliere den ich sehr respektiere hat mich gefragt, drum mach ichs nochmal:

I keep this as short and precise as possible. This tutorial will teach you the basic rigging functions (where to click). If you want to perfect it, you gotta experiment for yourself. So lets go:

Ich versuche es kurz und knackig zu halten. Diese Tutorial bringt dir bei wie du einfache Nahkampfwaffen an ein bestehendes Animationsset “riggst”: Also machen wir mal:

* First thing you gotta do is open the hand rig with the animations you want to rig to. Now make sure that you have it in default pose and no animations active (default) and click “file – merge”. Now you select the weapon you want to rig to the anims and import hit.

Öffne zuerst das Animationsset zu dem du riggen willst (die Hände). Clicke dann “file-merge”. Als nächstes wählst du die Waffe aus, die du importieren möchtest.

HOLD UP! Before you go any further you will want to make sure that your textures are unified. LINK ON HOW TO DO THAT.

Bevor du weiter machst solltest du sicher gehen dass sämtliche UV’s auf einer einzigen Textur sind. Damit es später im GG auch funktioniert und die passenden Shader hat. Dazu oben ein Link zu einem weiteren Tutorial.

Now lets continue:

The arrow points at the modifiers. Select your new weapon and scale it / rotate it, apply the correct material. Make sure its positioned where the original weapon used to be. Next step will be to delete the original weapon (but, of course, not its bone).

Skalieren, rotieren, plazieren. Hier gehts einfach darum dass deine Waffe genau so plaziert ist wie die Vorherige.

What happens now is you selecting the skeleton browser and the right bone (which one that is, is different for every rig and you have to use your splendid deductive reasoning skills on that one ) Select the weapon you want to rig, make sure the vertices are select as well!!!, click “assign selected vertices to bone.”

Fast geschafft! Nun wählst du den “Skeleton browser” an und suchst den passenden Bone. Bei Nahkampfwaffen ist es ja zum Glück nur einer. Du musst sicher gehen dass du die “vertices”auch ausgewählt hast. Wähle also die Waffe und den passenden Bone aus und klicke “assign select vertices to bone”. Welcher Bone das ist, ist bei jedem Rig etwas anders und das musst du selber rausfinden

Now you have to weigh the bones. For rigid bodies like melee weapons its usually the max weight but this can be a little less. Use the slider to set it and then click the biggest “set” button. Now check the animation if it plays correctly and if the weapon is placed correctly. When all that is good, badabing, badaboom, sonny jim, you rigged a weapon.

Hier musst du nun “Gewichte” für die Bones anbringen. Das machst du mit diesem farbigen Barren. Für rigide Körper wie etwa Prügelwaffen ists meistens eh das Maximum, es kann aber auch etwas weniger sein. Einfach die Animation abspielen und nachbessern bis es stimmt. Also: Gewicht wählen und den grossen “Set” Knopf drücken. Wenns nun so ist wie dus dir vorstellst wars das eigentlich auch schon.

IMPORTANT: To minimize further problems make sure that once you export there is only:

1 texture
1 material
and 1 animation set.

ALSO make sure that the animation is set to 30 fps, fragmo can set a higher number here which would be wrong.

Wichtig: Um weitere Probleme zu minimieren solltest du sicher gehen dass das Modell, bevor du exportierst, nur:

1 Texture
1 Material
und 1 Animation mit einer Bildwiederholrate /Framerate von 30 hat.

Want to rig something more advanced than melee weapons?

Here is a great video:

I hope this points some people in the right direction. Sorry for the eventual passive-aggressive tone but fragmotion isn’t fun…explaining it is less fun

Ich hoffe es hat ein Paar von euch die richtige Richtung gezeigt. Sollte ich genervt rüber kommen entschuldige ich mich aber fragmotion macht schon keinen Spaß…es erklären noch weniger

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Before you consider releasing a game on Steam…

… please take a few minutes out of your day to read what I have to say.

I am writing this as a bit of a guide of what you have to take into account before you publish your project to steam. There are a few points I would like to mention, feel free to disagree with me, after all I am not here to tell you what to do. All I want to accomplish here is share some of the common pitfalls developers, and GG users in particular, face when releasing on that platform. Now this is generally valid for putting a game up for sale anywhere, but it seems that people always aim for Steam so I focus on that.

Now, I don’t have any commercial games out nor do I intend to develop one in the future but I have over a decade of experience in the indie scene and have seen every FPSC / GG game page on steam and thus have a pretty good intuition on how people react to certain things.

I’m writing this because Duchenkuke recently revealed his current project on Steam and not only is it a decent GG project on Steam, which is something about as rare as a golden tiger, but it also has a pretty good store page and description.

Now some things I mention might seem a bit condescending or far fetched, but trust me, everything I reference on here has actually happened.

Before I get into my list, you first must be aware of what releasing a commercial game on steam means. Its fundamentaly different to releasing a free game on or indie.db in that you now no longer present a hobby creation / an artwork to somewhat like minded people but a product to the general public. Once there is a price tag on it, everything changes.
Steam also has a lot of traffic, lots of folks from different walks of life and your first game on steam will be … well, there is no second chance for a first impression! If your game first game is terrible, that will forever be associated with your name and its hard to recover from that. Now we are indie developers, hobbyists…so some downsides are to be expected but a lot of content on Steam, especially stuff made in GG is just plain insulting.
Also if you release something in early access and its borderline unplayable, be aware that few people can be bothered to return after you updated it. Generally speaking, you should look at your creation objectively and ask yourself: “Is this engaging to another person? Is it fun? Does it have something special about it to get someone to play it rather than one of the thousands other games out there with bigger budgets, better tech, better graphics, smoother game play and more content? Would I buy this myself?” All good things to at least think about it before you put something on the market.
There seem to be a new breed of developers that seem to be convinced that something is worth money because they, themselves spent time and effort on it. So naturally they should be paid for that, regardless of outcome. Then you have people who are just getting started and have the audacity to find that their first steps in a 3d editor should not only be available to everyone but should also come with a price tag.

Now if you are reading these lines, its save to say that you are not one of these people…simply because I don’t think that they do a lot of …err…reading.

* 1: Performance and Stability!

The first thing you need to be absolutely sure of is that your game actually runs…at least for most players. You can do this by testing it on various systems and sending it to your friends or this community first. Frequent run time errors, crashes during loading sequences and in-game glitches/missing content are a kiss of death for your games success. You also need to consider performance. How does the game run on a mid-range gaming rig? You need to get at least 30 FPS for your game to be accepted. The truth is, no one will enjoy even the most custom and lofty game play if it clunks along at 15 fps. Trust me, poor performance are the very first thing reviews will mention if you don’t put in the work here. LINK to a tutorial about basic optimization here.

It is unfortunate that GG does not come with a decent options menu. The lack of detailed graphics settings and the lack of an ability to choose resolution is often lamented.

* 2: If you blink, you’ll miss it!

Regardless of how long it took you to finish your game. If the player can play through it in 20 minutes or less and you ask 5 bucks for the experience, there is a problem. Now I am aware how hard it is to get good game time…but hey, you want to SELL your game so you better deliver. You should aim for at least 1 hour of game play (not including loading screens) preferably more.
Just imagine yourself paying for a game, having rather long loading times only for then having about 5 minutes of game play per level.
Total game play amounting to 20 minutes for 4 levels. You’d have to have absolutely riveting features to justify that.

* 3: Be honest about your game.

This is a point that I find of uttmost importance and something that bothers me personally. The rampant dishonesty you see in project descriptions on steam can go so far that it borders on fraud.
You’ll see bare bones, stock content game guru games with half a dozen maps, a few zombies within these maps and maybe one or 2 notes to read described something like “Dive into a deep, well written and engaging story filled with unique characters and exciting game play” “Stunning visuals” “hours of fun”. Now I always have to chuckle at descriptions like this when its obviously not even remotely in the game but your customers will not.
I could also go on a tangent here talking about how generic games obviously inspired by resident evil or fallout are a dime a dozen in the indie sphere and usually in no way deep, well written, engaging or unique.
So don’t advertise your game like its the next fallout! Your customers will find out the truth once they hit the play button and will feel cheated even if your game is somewhat decent. Instead: Be honest, describe your games strengths!
Point out the strengths and features that make your game good. Describe the game play that the player will really encounter and tell them what really is unique or engaging about your game. If you find that your game doesn’t really have anything these adjectives apply to at all… well then you might not want to sell it yet.
You can even go as far as openly say that you are just a hobbyist, or a beginner. People usually respect that. Now, taking this into consideration you also need to know an ancient rule of game development in general: Never shine a spotlight on a turd. Now I often riff on the flaws when I release a new game, but I also don’t sell them. Don’t draw too much attention to the downsides of your game either!
Now, I’ve seen some people making truly teeth grindingly atrocious GG games bribing people to leave them some good reviews because they know their games are horrendous. I know that some of these tactics are effective just…please don’t be that guy. Its dishonorable.

* The Price is Nice

I understand that some people only gotten into this having profit in mind. While I was never able to enjoy any type of art form if I make money off of it, this is a big draw for many folks and I can’t really blame ’em.
So, to continuously make money: Put a fair price on your game. Its a free market, so you can do what you want but 8 bucks for an early access GG title is generally a bad idea. Try to remain within the 4 to 6 Dollars a pop price range and you won’t see complaints. Its also the type of money many people are willing to dish out on an impulse buy.

* Consider networking with the community

Most low quality GG games on steam come from people that are not an active part of this community. I find that the people on here are generally helpful and knowledgeable when it comes to making games and their feedback might help you elevate your game to higher levels. The community here also tends to provide pretty good feedback on wether something is ready to be sold or not. All parents exaggerate the achievements of their offspring and you might look at your game in a similar way. You spent a lot of time and energy on it and might see things in it that aren’t there… so feedback from complete strangers is valuable. As long as you can differenciate between haters and people with good constructive criticism I recently saw a youtube video of someone lamenting how nobody cared for his (rather terrible) game after him working on it for an extended period of time. He was the type that was mostly talking about how his game would have been better if GG was better and yet the missing features he brought up where all things I have seen members of this community pull off. So talking to the people that use the same software as you do might help you overcome some road blocks fairly easily. Teamwork is very important, said the giant CGI dinosaur!

* Make sure you at least mastered the basics before you charge!

We all got started somehow but if you think a game with stock assets, dragged and dropped together without clear art direction will do well on steam… well it won’t. Not only will it not do well but your efforts will also be branded an asset flip! Best practice is making a few simpler games, smaller in scope, before you tackle a commercial project. Learn re-texturing to maintain a consistent art style throughout your game. Mixing and matching store assets by many different artists with different styles and abilities seldomly works! You will then also be able to optimize your props as many are sold with rather high-res textures that might cause you issues in the final build. Learn basic modeling… a lot can do once you can combine meshes, make basic architectural props and add/remove parts to animated models. You will have way more possibilities and people tend to notice these things. You don’t need to be a master coder to make a decent game but make sure that you are at least able to read and understand what a script does and tweak values. There is so much you can do with basic images showing on screen alone…

* Is it even legal?

The internet is full of amazing game related resources. Free scripts, models, textures, music,sound. Naturally a lot of these things are ripped directly from other games. Now, if you release free games or if you are modding something, its not the end of the world but if you have content like this in your game, wether intentional or accidental, you might even end up in court or at least have your game taken down! Because a lawsuit isn’t cheap, you better double check that you own the rights to every prop you use, every sound you play and every image you put into your menu screens. Also be vigilant if you use free packs! I’ve downloaded an extensive prop pack for FPSC once only to find out way later in life that all those models where actually ripped from Deus Ex and Soldier of Fortune I also released a Horror game later only to read in the comments that the free horror sound effects I downloaded where actually ripped from older resident evil games. Alas! Just something to be aware of

* Early Access but only if its at least a beta.

Hold back on releasing your game until its at least somewhat finished. A beta state would be quite right for a public early access. If your game has promise but needs some touching up its ready for early access. Players aren’t stupid and can see potential. However, if its just plain unfinished in every conceivable way and you have already cornered yourself by promising changes that you might not yet know how to implement you just make a bad impression. You can get valuable player feedback by releasing something early …but not TOO early

Thank you for reading! Now I have written this to encourage people, despite the rather negative tone this has in places because I have seen how crushed a lot of young devs felt after they released something on steam, only for it to be panned. This post here is my ditch effort to kind of prevent this happening to future developers.

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Nomad Mod and a requiem for FPSCreator


If you are reading this chances are that you used FPSCreator in the past or are still using it and you are either viewing this for information or a tiny dose of nostalgia. If you are new to FPSCreator and want to check it out I will dedicate a whole paragraph with everything you need to know to get started too. Then you’ll also be informed about what you can or can not do with it.

The first thing I want to address is Nomad Mod and some other useful tools you might find enjoyable. After that I’ll recap a bit of FPSC’s history, what made it special and how it died eventually. Now, you can disagree with me that its “dead” and there are certainly still uses for it but more on that later. Now we will talk briefly about Nomadmod.

Nomad Mod

What is Nomad Mod?
Nomad Mod is a high end graphics modification for FPS Creator which provides unified dynamic lighting, flashlights and other graphics enhancements.

Nomad Mod Features:

* Unified Dynamic Lighting
*Bump, Specular, Illumination
*Water / Window Refraction
*Cinematic Bloom / Motion Blur
*Depth of Field / Cell Shading
*Film Grain / Sepia / Noir
*HUD Damage / Health System
*Camera Movement Effects
*Light Shaft Effects / Fog Effects
*Animated Texture Effects
*Improved Blood Effects
*Fully Working Flashlights
*Support for Dual Wielding
* Compatible with S4Mod Zeta

Which version of FPS Creator does Nomad Mod use?
Nomad Mod uses FPSC v1.20 BETA17A however this is not a source modification so you can apply it to other mods providing they are built on a recent version of the source code.

Why use Nomad Mod?
Nomad Mod provides a fully integrated dynamic lighting solution to allow consistently realistic lighting effects throughout your game from static and dynamic lights with static and dynamic objects. You can also use a number of post process effects such as cell shading or film noir to give your games a totally unique look.

How can I get Nomad Mod?
Nomad Mod has now been added to Black Ice Mod and will no longer be supported as a standalone package. You can download Black Ice Mod here:

Nomad Mod License:
Nomad Mod is free to use for commercial and non-commercial projects. There is a license restriction on the music track provided and this can only be used in games made using this mod unless purchased separately.

Original Shaders – Bond1, CoZ, Dark Goblin, Uzi Idiot
Models – Errant AI, Jon Fletcher, Maniac Modeler, Uman
Textures – Rolfy, Madcow, Shim Kangrey, Xplosys, Starmind
Scripts – KingofMk98, Ncmako
Music – Nickydude (MadLadDesigns)


With Nomadmod, FPSCreator becomes the easiest to use game maker out there. So many complex features are available out of the box and it rivals Game Guru or other packages by just the sheer amount of (theoretical) possibilities. Nomad Mod adds FPS features that where previously either not available or worked only to a degree, such as Armor, Player Body, Allies and usable dynamic lighting.

Sadly FPSCreator has been broken from the start. It has a memory cap of about 2 gig that can not be worked around. This makes creating a game nearly impossible. Now, you might think 2 gigabyte is plenty of space but its not harddrive memory but system memory. Meaning that an empty map with a gun and a skybox already takes up nearly one gig. The rest is just enough for about 4 rooms and a hallway (if decorated properly.) Good luck loading more than 3 levels without at least a crash too.

Nomad, the author of the mod, put it far better:

“The problem is as the FPSC community grew in size and talent, we kept pushing the boundaries and expecting more from the engine but the fundamental memory cap / management issues were never properly addressed so you have the promise of great looking games with lots of levels but not the reality. Also whilst this was going on other game engines started offering free versions and becoming more accessible which gave FPSC more competition from larger developers.”

Here are screenshots of my attempt to push the memory cap and see how much the last and best version of FPSC can handle. It all collapsed as soon as I added scripts and enemies. Getting a one or 2 level game of this quality working fine? Sure! You’ll have a whopping 4 minutes of gameplay then. Anything more does not seem feasible. Notice that I only used specular mapping, no normalmapping.

Final Words

I’ve used FPSC for years. I had a lot of fun tinkering whole evenings away and as you can see here I also actually released quite a few games. I never got confirmation on this but I always suspected that FPSC was originally designed to be a small product for teens who could drag and drop themselves a corridor shooter together in it. As an entry to proper game development. However, it ended up attracting an older demographic too that saw the potential and the engine has kept evolving, however having subpar memory managment that would eventually kill it for me, and many projects with it.

As I grew older I came to have a better understanding of how a game engine works and eventually realized that these flaws are so deeply ingrained in FPSC that only a complete recode could touch on them.

As disappointing as that was and I have a whole library of vaporware projects to prove it, FPSC was a blast back in the day. The community during its golden age (about 2008 to 2012) was just a joy to be around and I met many people online that I am still friends with to this day.

Okay great! Now you might wonder why I am writing this. Well its because of this: I told a few people and veteran fpsc users from back in the day that I would make a whole archive of released FPSC games that where good. Kind of a repository. However, I decided against it for several reasons:
Number 1: Most games are simply gone. Filehosters went down, users took them down themselves or websites that used to host them are expired. Remember in the early 2000s when they told you that once something is on the internet its doomed to be there forever! You only need to browse old 3D sites or forums and oggle at all the dead links, dead image hoster icons and missing forum avatars to see how fucking wrong they where.

Number2: Its over. It seems redundant and almost a decade too late. As cool as many of these projects where, they had their day and they are quite obviously relics of a by gone era in game design. Where things better back then? Yeah, a lot of them where.

Number3: I don’t want this to be a resource for people to loot other peoples games for scripts and textures only to quickly cobble together a steam cash grab.


Häääh …no.

Alright…its not that simple. If you really strip back the gameplay features and level size, you can make a horror themed corridor shooter like this. Among the most impressive work arounds are seen in this. It will even kinda, sorta work sometimes. Other uses for FPSC are first person adventure games. You might have seen those on steam. Here are 2 developers that have quite the library.

Peace on Steam

GDnomad on Steam

shameless plug: These games use a ton of my media 😛

Keep in mind that getting these normalmaps and other shaders all set up is wonky and involves a bit of trial and error. So yeah, you can make these types of short adventure games and some are even quite decent! Like Phobia by JonezGames.

Alternatively you can really lower the poly count and texture resolution as well as game logic to the level of a PS1 game. But even then you might encounter unexpected issues.
(Keep in mind that you will also have to not use the segment system then. It might look blocky and simplistic but even a small level can easily have a whopping 30 000 Polygons if made with it.)

However, if you are able to do that, your time might be spent more wisely learning to use a different engine. Especially given that FPSC’s one vibrant community has largely decreased to half a dozen active users. If you want to try it out, Nomad Mod is where you get started.

As it stands. This is the point where I will no longer cover FPSC related content on this website. Thank you for reading.

Posted in Development, gaming, Miscellaneous, Personal, Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arkane Studios – Half Life² Episode 4


I am fully aware that this is old news but I only recently found out that valve has outsourced the development of Half Life² Episode 4 to french dev-team Arkane Studios.

Half Life² is among my favourite FPS games and with Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah and Dishonored under their belt, Arkane is also among my favorite developers….especially when it comes to creative vision. Now Dishonored 2 and the new Prey didn’t strike my fancy but thats another story.

Sadly, the project got cancelled but I’d still like to feature the little screenshots we have and later link to a video that also offers some early animations. I have compiled some screenshots from other sources, most notably “valve time”. However, as this is an unreleased project and you happen to read this, let me know if one of these is from another mod or game. I tried my best to make sure to assemble som impressions of what could have been:

Video by youtuber 32 megabytes showcasing some animations and other screenshots:



Posted in Miscellaneous, Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment